Fiction Reviews

Binstead's Safari

Binstead's Safari is a wild ride. I was reminded of in part of Jean Renoir's film, 'The Rules of the Game,' along with a dash of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 'Tropical Malady' (which, if you haven't seen, you should). An American couple, marriage on the rocks, finds themselves in Africa, woefully unprepared in a number of ways for what they encounter there - whirlwind love, endless landscape, transformation, and wildness. Stick around for the twist at the end - I devoured the last twenty pages the way a lion might eat a kill. Recommended by Katie

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$15.95
ISBN: 9780811228466
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Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 26th, 2019

"Only now had she found her life"--and also her destiny, which may, this being Ingalls, take the form of a Lion God.


Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson invites readers not to speak but to shout in her new poetry memoir, a long awaited follow-up to her bestselling YA novel, Speak, which centers around a survivor of sexual assault. In Shout, Anderson shares memories from her young adulthood — when she herself was raped — and how she found the strength to keep going. Between autobiographical poems lie fierce rants about rape culture and censorship, as well as love letters and encouragement to survivors of sexual assault.

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$10.99
ISBN: 9780312674397
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Published: Square Fish - May 10th, 2011

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.


Lot

Bryan Washington’s Lot is an ambitious debut collection from an exciting young writer. Each story occurs in Houston, and half of them follow teenage Nicolás as he navigates the violence of street and family life while discovering his own sexuality. One story details the hilarious and poignant escapades of two friends discovering a strange bayou creature they call a chupacabra. Another short elegiacally traces the dissolution of a pickup basketball crew.

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Lot: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780525533672
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Published: Riverhead Books - March 19th, 2019

"Phenomenal" --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
"Brilliant" --Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
“A profound exploration of the true meaning of borders.” —The New York Times Book Review


Woman Talking

For years, the women of the Mennonite settlement, Molotschna, had been violated at night by demons punishing them for their sins. After discovering that they had actually been drugged and raped by men from their own colony, the women decide to meet in secret to discuss plans for the future while the men are away in the city for trial. Based on true events, Women Talking features a colorful cast of women contemplating their own basic rights.

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$24.00
ISBN: 9781635572582
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Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - April 2nd, 2019

National Bestseller


Sabrina

Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina is the first graphic novel ever longlisted for the Booker Prize, and it’s easy to see why. This book has just as much sweep and power as any prose novel. Teddy hasn’t seen Calvin since high school. Out of the blue, and in serious emotional distress, Teddy needs to move in to Calvin’s house. As Calvin cares for Teddy, tragedy unfolds and the book becomes a pitch-perfect meditation on grief in the right-now. Timely, devastating, and stylish, this book is a stunner. Recommended by Danny

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$27.95
ISBN: 9781770463165
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Published: Drawn and Quarterly - May 22nd, 2018

THE FIRST EVER GRAPHIC NOVEL NOMINATED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE! A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK! ON 20 BEST OF 2018 LISTS INCLUDING THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, NEWSWEEK, AND THE GUARDIAN!


Two Girls Down

You know that totally-absorbed-can’t-put-it-down reading experience?  Louisa Luna’s Two Girls Down provides just that. It’s riveting, suspenseful, surprising and so addictive that I had to slow down in my eagerness to get to the next twist in order to appreciate the admirable prose. Luna’s style is straightforward but creative, and I love finding those unique turns of phrase that mark a clever and observant writer’s prose.

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$25.95
ISBN: 9780385542494
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Published: Doubleday - January 9th, 2018

"I'm always looking for a good thriller, and this just was perfect."--Nancy Pearl, NPR's Morning Edition
“Opening this book is like arming a bomb--the suspense is relentless and the payoff is spectacular.  Lead character Alice Vega is sensational--I want to see lots more of her.”--Lee Child
"Sensational." Wall Street Journal


American Heart

My spirits are still aloft three hours after finishing Laura Moriarty's book American Heart. You may have heard about all the flak she has taken for the book and about the censored review—a review written by a Muslim woman of color—pulled after pressure from people who feared the book represented another white savior narrative because its admittedly flawed white teenage protagonist commits to seeing a woman to safety in an America—not very unlike our own—that has put all Muslims like this woman in an internment camp in Nevada.

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780062694102
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Published: HarperTeen - January 30th, 2018

A powerful and thought-provoking YA debut from New York Times bestselling author Laura Moriarty.

Imagine a United States in which registries and detainment camps for Muslim-Americans are a reality.


Emily Alone

Each in the pair of novels Wish You Were Here and Emily Alone by Stuart O'Nan is perfect on its own, and together they are magic. In Wish, Emily Maxwell spends a strained week with her adult children, grandchildren, sister-in-law, and her arthritic dog, Rufus, in a summer lake cabin while it pours rain. The foundations of the intricate relationships established in this first novel are built upon in Emily Alone, a perfect novel to read this time of year with its autumnal beginning.

Emily, Alone: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143120490
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Published: Penguin Books - December 27th, 2011

The moving companion novel to Henry, Himself and a bittersweet vision of love, family, and aging from bestselling author Stewart O'Nan


Dear Reader

Lawrencian Mary O'Connell's latest book Dear Reader will satisfy adult and young adult reader alike. The story is told from a dual point of view. One narrator, misfit Catholic school student Flanner, goes alone to New York City in search of her missing English teacher Miss Sweeney, when the copy of Wuthering Heights she finds in her teacher's bag takes on a life of its own; it literally becomes Miss Sweeney's own tale of lost love, leaving clues to her whereabouts along the way.

Dear Reader: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250077080
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Published: Flatiron Books - May 9th, 2017

“Imaginative, exhilarating, genre-bending, and one of the best YA novels of the year.” —BookRiot

“An audacious tale. Like much classic literature and like growing up, reading this immersive novel is all about the experience.The Horn Book

An IndieNext Pick!


The Nakano Thrift Shop

Hiromi Kawakami’s The Nakano Thrift Shop is a charming and quirky novel  set almost entirely in a Tokyo secondhand store. It’s the first US translation from a promising and popular Japanese novelist, with more to come soon. Protagonist Hitomi works the register as the strange rhythms of life working for the eccentric Mr. Nakano unfold at an easy and enjoyable pace around her. This delightful novel, anchored by an unconventional and often funny love story, is a breezy look at everyday Tokyo life. Recommended by Danny

 

The Nakano Thrift Shop: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609453992
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Published: Europa Editions - June 6th, 2017

From the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this funny, heartwarming story about love, life, and human relationships that features a delightfully offbeat cast of characters.


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